HERE’S WHY PROPERTY MANAGERS WILL CHANGE ON-SITE MANAGEMENT IN 2021
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, rental housing industry operations have experienced considerable change. Essential onsite roles have adapted and evolved through the use of technology, and while it may not be optimal, the transition to remote working has proven that job duties can still be completed outside of the office.
For example, until recently, most if not all property managers were expected to be physically present at the property to communicate with the team, address resident concerns and oversee all aspects of day-to-day operations.
When the outbreak began, federal and state legislators placed restrictions and guidelines for most businesses to prevent increased exposure, which in turn, forced many property management professionals, including property managers, to work from home—essentially overnight.
For those successfully handling this transition, it naturally leads to thoughts of proceeding with more flexibility in the future, post-pandemic. For many, it may be hard to imagine going back to the old ways of working once we have seen how well employees can work in this constantly changing environment.
As the industry moves forward, property managers are witnessing a shift in their roles and responsibilities. Specifically, there are five areas of change that leaders should acknowledge to help support those in whose roles are evolving. It is also important to note that these changes will be at the forefront when hiring new talent for positions such as:
Leading From Afar,
Enhanced Customer Experience,
Being Financially Engaged,
And Thinking Outside The Box.
Managers have long been asked to take on additional responsibilities for the apartment communities they manage. Once responsible only for collecting rent and dealing with the everyday maintenance of their properties, residential managers today need to provide additional services to the multifamily investors they represent. Today, managers are not just building caretakers. They hold a more strategic role and are expected to create value rather than just preserve it.
COVID-19 is again forcing residential managers to evolve to remain competitive—and to retain their jobs. As essential workers, they’ve been faced with the challenges of working remotely, putting in grueling hours and implementing new technologies and safety protocols. But the pandemic is also adding duties they never signed up for: managing stressed and anxious residents who aren’t used to being home 24/7 and may be unemployed, ill or frustrated.
That’s creating undue stress on frontline workers who lack training in the psychological and social-work skills they’re now required to use—and causing management companies to focus not only on retaining residents at their communities but also on the health and safety of their own workers.
For example, Some Management Companies has paid its staff for 40 hours per week even when they didn’t work a full schedule. They’ve given gifts and bonuses and provided lunches to thank their staff. And they’ve adjusted their workloads to allow nonessential activities, such as continuing education requirements, to be delayed.
Both owner-operators and third-party property management companies are well aware of the stress the pandemic is putting on their site managers.
The good ones are putting support systems in place that allow site managers working across different properties to easily reach out to each other for support and advice, and some companies are also providing site managers with additional training on conflict resolution so they can work with residents more effectively in these challenging times.
“Communication is continuously important”. We’re focused heavily on communication and letting our teams know how important is it for us to know that we are there for them and here to listen.
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Demetrius L. Brown